New Jersey SEEDS to Honor William V. Engel, Esq. and Alumna Dr. Neha Pathak at Leading Change Benefit

New Jersey SEEDS, a nonprofit that provides educational access to high-achieving, low-income students, announced that its 2018 Leading Change Benefit will honor the accomplishments of William V. Engel, Esq. and Neha Pathak, M.D. on Thursday, April 12, 2018. Each year, SEEDS presents the Leading Change Award to those whose initiative and commitment have enhanced the educational opportunities of young people throughout New Jersey.

“We are excited to recognize the accomplishments of Bill Engel and Neha Pathak at this year’s Benefit,” explains John F. Castano, New Jersey SEEDS’ Executive Director. “Bill has been part of the SEEDS family since its inception. For more than 25 years, he and his family have been committed and generous donors to SEEDS. As one of our Founders, a dedicated Trustee, and now a Trustee Emeritus, Bill works tirelessly to show that students from low-income families need to be given opportunity and access to reach their full potential. Neha was one of our first graduates and is our second Leading Change alum honoree. Excelling academically and professionally, Neha has never forgotten her SEEDS roots. Throughout her career in medicine, she has worked to engage and empower vulnerable populations. Last year, she returned to her SEEDS family, serving as one of our Alumni Ambassadors at our 25th Anniversary Benefit.”

William V. Engel, Esq. is a Trustee Emeritus of New Jersey SEEDS and a Partner at Engel & Devlin, P.C., a firm in Warren, New Jersey that specializes in trusts, estates and private foundation law. Bill’s combined service as a Trustee of private foundations and charitable trusts collectively totals over 200 years, in addition to his combined 90 years plus of service as a Trustee for numerous nonprofit organizations. In addition to serving on SEEDS’ Board, Bill’s board service has included the University of Virginia Law School Alumni Association, the NJN Foundation, and the Rensselaerville Institute. Bill is the First Vice-Chair for the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and Director and Chairman of the Board of The Hyde and Watson Foundation. He is Executive Director of the E. J. Grassmann Trust, Vice President of the N. R. Leavitt Foundation, and President of the Standish and Union Foundations. Bill also served as a Pingry Trustee for many years, including as the School’s Board Chair from 1995-2002, when he helped to foster a strong relationship between SEEDS and the Pingry community.

Bill graduated from The Pingry School and Princeton University with an A.B. with honors in History and a concentration in African American Studies. He graduated from the University of Virginia Law School, and has received an Honorary Degree from St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, New Jersey. 

“Over the past 25 years, I’m proud to say that SEEDS has stayed true to our original mission of opening doors to economically challenged students of all backgrounds,” says Bill Engel. “The achievements of the nearly 2,500 graduates show that the SEEDS formula works, and I am proud to be part of an organization that has changed so many lives by giving opportunity with thoughtful support.”

Neha Pathak, M.D., is a SEEDS alumna who graduated from SEEDS’ first class in 1994. Board-certified in internal medicine, Neha is currently a medical editor at WebMD, where she works to develop content and ensure the accuracy of health information. There, she works to provide accessible, accurate healthcare information to a broad audience. She cares for patients at the Atlanta VA Medical Center and was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine.

After graduating from The Pingry School, Neha obtained a B.A. in Psychology and Biology from Harvard University and completed her M.D. with honors in Community Service from Weill Cornell Medicine. Neha went on to complete her primary care and internal medicine residency at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and then participated in the VA Quality Scholar Fellowship Program. As part of the Fellowship Program, she focused on improving the quality of care delivery for veterans at high-risk for hospitalization or emergency care, and served as the site-lead for a national VA pilot program.

Neha says, “I will forever trace the beginning of my academic journey to my SEEDS experience, which taught me that hard work combined with opportunity can completely change the trajectory of life. It is a profound privilege to be a part of the SEEDS family.”

The 2018 Leading Change Benefit will be held at The Park Savoy on Thursday, April 12, 2018. For sponsorship information or to reserve your table, please contact MarrLa Brown at [email protected] or at 862.227.9142.

About New Jersey SEEDS
For more than 25 years, New Jersey SEEDS has provided educational access for highly motivated, low-income students and created a viable path for them to achieve their full potential. SEEDS strives for a world in which young people’s initiative, creativity and intellect can flourish without regard to socioeconomic status. Since SEEDS’ founding in 1992, nearly 2,500 scholars have graduated from its programs. For more information, visit